Because Of Your Sins

Feb 8, 2013
Akron, Ohio
Saturday, March 01, 2014, 8:09 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put this song in mind:

My Jesus, My Savior / Michael W. Smith

My Jesus, My Saviour,
Lord there is no one like you,
All of my days, I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love.

My comfort, my shelter,
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You…

Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 50-51 (quoting selected verses in the NIV).;

You Were Sold

Because of your sins you were sold…
When God created humankind (Adam and Eve), they were perfect in relationship to him. They walked and talked with him in the garden. They had wonderful fellowship with him. He blessed them richly with all that was good. They obeyed him and did what he said, until one day the serpent (Satan) tempted Eve to disobey God, and then Adam followed in like manner. At that moment sin entered the life of humankind, and that sin separated humans from God from that point on. Our sins thus sold us as slaves to Satan and to sin.

The Plan

Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on their God.
Nonetheless, God had a plan. He sent his Son Jesus Christ to earth to be our sacrificial Lamb to take away the sins of the world. When Jesus died on the cross, our sins were crucified with him, and they were buried with him, but when he rose from the dead, he triumphed over our sin, Satan, hell and death. Amen! Because of what Jesus Christ did for us in dying for our sins, taking our punishment upon him, we can be rejoined in fellowship with Almighty God, and the dominion of sin and Satan can be removed from our lives.

It is by God’s grace, through faith that we are saved and we are restored to a right relationship with God. This faith trusts in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, it believes that he has indeed delivered us from slavery to sin, to which we were sold, and it fully cooperates with the work of the Spirit within us to transform our lives away from living for sin and self to lives committed to following Jesus Christ and to walking in his righteousness and holiness (See Lu. 9:23-25; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; Ro. 6; Gal. 2:20; 1 Jn. 1-5, et al).

When we come to our Lord by faith in Jesus Christ, and in what he did for us in delivering us from slavery to sin, we are indwelt by the Spirit of God who serves as our teacher, guide, counselor, and encourager; and who empowers and strengthens us to walk in the Spirit and in truth. We are given the written word of God, as well, to teach us and lead us, and so we can know God’s will, so that we may walk in it. And, he blesses us with so many rich and wonderful spiritual blessings from above, including his body, the church, also given for our support, strengthening and encouragement.

Her Ruins

Who are you that you fear mere mortals,
human beings who are but grass,
that you forget the Lord your Maker…

The Lord will surely comfort Zion
and will look with compassion on all her ruins…
Nonetheless, many who have come to Jesus Christ by faith, and who have been saved from their sins; who have entered into eternal life with God, and have been blessed with his many spiritual blessings from above, have since wandered back into sin and are now following after the gods of this world – of fortune, success, entertainment, fun, intellect, etc. Spiritually speaking, they are living in ruins. They have become followers of humankind – the world’s way of thinking, behaving, and their value system – and they have forsaken their God. Because God loves his church, and because his desire is for her to have him as her one and only, and because it pains him greatly when we choose sin, self and other gods in place of him, because he knows what is best for us, and how very much sin hurts us, he looks with compassion on our spiritual ruins, and he will do what is needed to bring her/us back to spiritual life and vitality once again (revived and renewed by the Spirit of God).

Wake Up!

When I came, why was there no one?
When I called, why was there no one to answer?...

Awake, awake!
Rise up, Jerusalem…
The Lord Jesus is calling out to his adulterous and idolatrous church throughout the world, but in particular here in America, I believe, to wake up (See Rev 2-3) or he will have to send his divine discipline (judgment, chastisement) against her in order to wake her up.

Think of it in terms of a parent-child relationship. The child had been sold into slavery, but the loving parent fought for the child’s freedom, got the child back, and had given the child many good things to enjoy. He was so glad to have his child back, but then his child fell asleep and he could not awaken the child. The child was unresponsive to his calls to “wake up.” So, what would you do? He must call 911. We call 911 in emergency situations because someone needs immediate help and/or because that person (child) is in immediate danger.

I believe that is where God sees his church in America right now, and maybe throughout the world, too. He saved her (bought her back), but now she is in a spiritual slumber, following mankind instead of God, caught up in the ways of this world, going from this thing to the next trying to find what satisfies and brings peace and joy only to be left wanting more but never satisfied. I believe 9/11/01 was a wakeup call for America, but she didn’t wake up. So, I believe God is going to send us another “wake up” call. It will be painful, though.

They Will Return

The cowering prisoners will soon be set free;
they will not die in their dungeon,
nor will they lack bread.
For I am the Lord your God…

Those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
I believe very much so that God weeps over his adulterous and idolatrous church and that he puts that same type of compassion and grief over the spiritual condition of his church within those who are willing to listen to his voice and to feel what he feels, and who will call out to God in prayer asking for life to be breathed back into the church (for revival).

Going back to the scenario of the parent-child relationship, the parent called 911, but the child appeared to be dead, so the parent (or one representing the parent) cried out to God in agony, sorrow and deep concern for the life of the child. All of a sudden the child coughs up something that had been lodged in his throat. He was alive! Praise God! The parent rejoiced!! The child coughed up something which had been killing him. In this case, what was killing him was his sin. He confessed (repented of) it, and then he was revived spiritually, and all heaven rejoiced!! And, then he was renewed back to that wonderful fellowship relationship with his loving parent (God – Father, Son and Spirit).

If only we would grieve over the dying church the way God does, and the way this parent did over the young child the parent thought was lost forever, and that we would call upon God to be merciful and compassionate toward his church in bringing her back to life again. And, oh, if you are one who has wandered away from your pure devotion to the Lord, and you have gotten caught in the trap of sin again, I pray you will return while you still have today, because none of us knows what tomorrow holds.

ONLY IN HIM / An Original Work / February 19, 2014

Based off Isaiah 30

Woe to those who look to man’s help;
Who turn away from Jesus Christ;
Forming an alliance not in step with God;
Making their own plans, and praying not.

Willing not to listen to truth,
They close their ears to what is right.
Pleasing words are all that they’ll hear;
Feel good messages that bring cheer.

Trust in your Lord; turn from your sin.
Put your faith now ONLY IN HIM.
Do not turn to idols. They’ll not satisfy.
Jesus will save you. That’s why He died.

Your Lord will be gracious to you.
He cares all about you, ‘tis true.
He forgives you all of your sin
When you give your life up to Him.

Oh, how truly gracious He’ll be
When you bow to Him on your knees;
Turning now from your sin; walking in his ways.
He’ll lead and guide you all of your days.

Now you will sing praises to Him.
He delivered you from your sin.
You’ll tell others now of His grace,
So they may see Christ face-to-face.